The Evolution of Information Security: A Journey

Explore the transformative journey of Information Security since 2000, from the early days of curiosity and playful hacking to the present landscape, shaped by regulations and a heightened awareness of cybersecurity challenges.


Roshan Yacob George CISA CISSP CFE

11/25/20232 min read

man holding luggage photo
man holding luggage photo

The landscape of Information Security has undergone a significant transformation since the year 2000. Reflecting on this evolution, I find myself reminiscing about the time when I took the CISSP exam in 2005 in Chennai. Back then, computers were not yet mainstream in India, and my curiosity led me to explore the fascinating world of information security. Hacking, at that time, was often seen as a playful activity to showcase one's intelligence, devoid of malicious intent, contrary to the negative portrayal in movies.

Early Challenges in India:

In the early 2000s, as computers were gradually making their way into Indian businesses, the concept of Information Security was in its infancy. The absence of regulatory requirements meant that companies were left to navigate the security landscape on their own. Implementing a robust 'Information Security Management System' in this scenario was undoubtedly a challenging task for the pioneers of that era.

Government Initiatives and Regulatory Framework:

The landscape began to change, especially after the government took a proactive stance. With the rise of Narendra Modi to power, there was a noticeable surge in Information Security regulations imposed by various government agencies such as RBI, SEBI, CCA, IRDA, and more. These regulations aimed to establish a structured framework for securing sensitive information, fostering a more secure digital environment.

Cultural Resistance:

However, despite the regulatory push, one of the enduring challenges in the adoption of Information Security practices has been the resistance to forming a security culture. Even today, implementing security controls can be disruptive to existing work cultures. This resistance is a testament to the deeply ingrained practices that often prioritize convenience over security.

Customer-Driven Security:

In the evolving landscape, customers played a pivotal role in driving Information Security measures. Contracts started including clauses mandating the implementation of specific security controls. Customer audits became a routine practice to ensure that organizations adhered to contractual obligations regarding Information Security. This shift reflected a growing awareness among businesses about the importance of securing sensitive data.

Data Security for the Sake of Security:

Initially, only a handful of companies considered securing data for the sole purpose of safeguarding it. More often, data security measures were implemented as part of internal business disputes between different factions within a company. The concept of securing data for its inherent value and as a proactive measure against potential threats was not widespread.

Challenges posed by Maverick Business Leaders:

One of the significant hurdles during this period was the presence of maverick business leaders who underestimated the importance of Information Security. These leaders believed in shortcuts and often thought they could circumvent security measures without consequence. While their run might have been smooth for a time, it was inevitably bound to halt, underscoring the importance of a comprehensive and proactive approach to Information Security.


As we traverse through the years since 2000, the evolution of Information Security in India becomes a compelling narrative. From a time of curiosity and exploration to the present era of stringent regulations and heightened awareness, the journey has been transformative. The challenges faced in establishing a security culture and overcoming resistance highlight the ongoing struggle to balance security with convenience. In the ever-changing landscape of information technology, the lessons learned from the past pave the way for a more resilient and secure future.